Union leader calls on L.A. teachers to boycott Times

The Los Angeles teachers union president said Sunday he was organizing a “massive boycott” of The Times after the newspaper began publishing a series of articles that uses student test scores to estimate the effectiveness of district teachers.

“You’re leading people in a dangerous direction, making it seem like you can judge the quality of a teacher by … a test,” said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, which has more than 40,000 members.

Duffy said he would urge other labor groups to ask their members to cancel their subscriptions.

Based on test score data covering seven years, The Times analyzed the effects of more than 6,000 elementary school teachers on their students’ learning. Among other things, it found huge disparities among teachers, some of whom work just down the hall from one another.

After a single year with teachers who ranked in the top 10% in effectiveness, students scored an average of 17 percentile points higher in English and 25 points higher in math than students whose teachers ranked in the bottom 10%. Students often backslid significantly in the classrooms of ineffective teachers, and thousands of students in the study had two or more ineffective teachers in a row.

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Tea Partiers Rally on Arizona Border With Mexico

HEREFORD, Arizona — Tea party activists supporting Arizona’s illegal immigration law were rallying along a remote stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border about 70 miles west of Nogales in support of the law that a judge put mostly on hold last month.

The United Border Coalition, which is an event organized by United We Stand for Americans and the Tea Party Caucus as well as more than a dozen other groups, held the rally near a stretch of border wall made of 15-foot steel posts set closely together to prevent people from crossing the border.

Demonstrators attached hundreds of U.S. flags with messages about curbing illegal immigration to the posts and chanted, “U-S-A,” after a handful of spectators gathered on the Mexico side of the border.

One of the messages posted on the border wall read, “Mister President … Secure This Border For America.”

Several speaking to the crowd of more than 400 demanded Congress and President Obama devote more resources to increase border security in remote areas like the site of Sunday’s demonstration south of Tucson.

“We are going to force them to do it, because if they don’t, we will not stop screaming,” said former state Sen. Pam Gorman, one of 10 Republicans vying for an open congressional seat in north Phoenix. Gorman carried a handgun in a holster slung over her shoulder as she mingled with demonstrators.

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